Martin Gayford talks to four painters - Tom Phillips, Christopher Le Brun, Michael Craig-Martin, and Sean Scully - about the paintings of Manet on the occasion of the recent exhibition Manet: Portraying Life at the Royal Academy, London.
Gayford writes that each artist "who talks about Manet here admires him as a supreme master of the brush, using it both slowly and at astonishing speed. Suitably, Sean Scully RA pays tribute to Manet the colourist, meaning not that he used a rainbow palette but that he did unprecedented and marvellous things with the shades – sometimes using just black and cream. Michael Craig-Martin RA talks about Manet the modernist, anticipating the century to come in the way he structured a picture, his enigmatic approach to narrative, and – what everybody comes back to – the marvellous things he did to paint with his brush."
Alexandra Koroxenidis previews the exhibition Sean Sully: Doric Order at the Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece, on view from May 9 - July 15, 2012.
Koroxenidis writes: "The six featured paintings from the nine in the so-called 'Doric' series, which Scully began in 2008, are partly a response to the financial crisis that has spread throughout the Western world and is particularly acute in Greece. They also offer a more profound reflection of the Western values of humanism, moderation, and humility that our culture of excess seems to have abandoned. 'The current work has been germinating for a very long time, but seems a propos at the moment because Greece is so underappreciated,' [Scully] said. 'My work is a homage to Greece, but was also inspired by the battles fought against Cyrus and Xerxes, and the sacrifices that were made for all those values.' "
Michael Rutherford discovers a great trailer for the documentary film Sean Scully: The Bloody Canvas, produced by Yellow Asylum Films for RTE, directed by Alan Gilsenan with photography direction by Richard Kendrick. The film mixes audio interview with footage of Scully working in his studio.
As the film begins, Scully remarks: "In my kind of art, and in a lot of performance art, where people use their bodies strenuously, there's a definite relationship between physical exertion and a kind of spirituality, so that you reach an elevated sense through this physical committment that you make, and the idea of work and craft and committment and effort all come together in a kind of revelation."
Sharon Butler directs our attention to a new video about painter Sean Scully. In the video Scully speaks about maintaining creative innocence - how searching rather than "plotting" is essential to making art. "This video is fascinating..." Butler writes "...If you're interested in other painters' process, don't miss the part toward the end where Scully starts putting paint on canvas."
Great post: Deborah Barlow comments on an exchange between painter Sean Scully and critic Robert Hughes who discuss the slowness of painting compared to other media. She quotes Scully: "The way a painting seems to work in the culture is very slowly and subliminally. It is almost dormant on the wall—you can walk right by and ignore it. But every time you come back to it, it lights up, it reengages." Barlow includes a link to the video.
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.